Book review: Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food (Jan Chozen Bays, MD)

Via on Jan 10, 2009

It’s no secret that our relationship with our food is pretty screwed up.  Between genetic modifications, factory farming, and our “eat and run” mentality, it’s rather sad that the one thing that can not only fuel us but nurture our relationships with others and ourselves is relegated to an afterthought.  Through her book, Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food, Dr. Bays seeks to change that. Without the use of complicated charts and statistics, Bays encourages the reader to adopt a more healthy attitude and approach to eating and drinking.  Mindful Eating contains not only a great deal of information around why it is important to eat more mindfully, but also a series of exercises designed to make the reader more aware of food on a variety of levels from the physical to the mental to the emotional.  Bays fully explores our relationships with food, including how we become conditioned to approach it based on various factors like our culture, gender, and so forth without condemning any particular form of conditioning.  In fact, through Mindful Eating, she offers a new way to “reprogram” the way we think about and consume our food.  While the author uses Buddhist principles this definitely isn’t strictly a “Buddhist book;” her intended audience seems to be those who have various issues and even disorders around food, but this book truly is for anyone who would like to take a step back and gain a greater sense of enjoyment from a cup of tea or their holiday meals.  Includes a cd of guided exercises; on sale this February from Shambhala Publications and at your local, independent bookstore. (Tell ’em you saw it on Elephant Journal!)


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About Alex Myles

Alex Myles is qualified as a Yoga teacher, Reiki Master, Teacher of Tibetan Meditation, Dragon Magic and a Spiritual coach to name just a few. Alex has no intention to teach others on a formal basis for many years to come, instead, she is collecting qualifications along with life’s lessons. One day, when the time is right, Alex will set up a quaint studio, in a quirky crooked building where she will breathe and appreciate the slowness of those days as life is just way too busy right now! Reading and writing has always been one of Alex’s passions. Alex likes to consider herself as a free spirit rather than a commitment-phobe. Trying to live as aligned to a Buddhist lifestyle as is possible in this day and age, she just does not believe in "owning" anything or anyone. Based on the theory that we ‘cannot lose someone that was not ours to lose’ she flails through life finding joy and magic in the most unexpected places. Mother to a 21 year old daughter and three adorable pups, she appreciates that some of the best moments in life are the 6am forest walks watching the dogs run, play and interact with one another and with nature. Connect with her on Facebook and check out her blog, Love and Madness. 

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